I'm 30 years old, overweight but quite active. About 2 years ago I went in to my GP for aching in my wrists and fingers, I figured i had some carpal tunnels and needed some wrist braces but he surprised me and said he wanted to do and ANA. The ANA came back positive and he went on to do a Reichlin screening, I was under the impression it came back fine. I was told by my GP that if I had any further symptoms that he couldnt do anything for me and I needed to see a specialist. That was that and I hadn't gone to the Dr since (although I started having pain and swelling in my ankles and hip and general fatigue). I went to my OBGYN over the summer for my annual exam and some pre conception counseling. She had access to my medical records from my GP and insisted I get a definitive dx from a rhemetologist before trying to have another baby. I had my appointment last week. He went over my medical history, felt around on all my joints and said I highly doubt you have Lupus, I think your problems come from being overweight and possibly thyroid problems but we will do some blood work. He also said the Reichlin test done 2 years ago wasnt sent to the proper lab so the results which ended up being very slightly high we unreliable so he did the test again. He wanted to see me back in 6 weeks. Later that day his nurse called and said that my ANA was positive again and that my sedimentation rate was high and he wanted to start me on 200mg of Plaquenil a day. Whats the deal???? Why else would he start me on this medication?? My TSH and free T3 and T4 came back within normal range so no thyroid issues. I am just frustrated that he pretty much blamed my symptoms on my weight immediately.
I have a weight issue too and I hate it when doctors blame your health issues all on weight. The positive ANA is one of the markers they use to see if you may have Lupus. The Plaquenil is what my doctor started on when I was diagnosed with Lupus and had a positive ANA. I would ask your doctor to explain all of the bloodwork so you understand where they are headed with your diagnosis.
Keep us posted.
Man, I'd be confused too, if I were you! It all seems to come so out of the blue! Had you even been having lupusy symptoms lately? How frustrating and confusing for you!
Ok, so first I gotta tackle the weight thing. I'm big and beautiful, and gloriously chubby and whatnot too. Before my disease slowed me way the heck down I was active and stuff too. It's one of my biggest pet peeves when doctors immediate jump on the "you're fat, so of course you're sick" bandwagon. Oh yeah, last societally acceptable form of discrimination, and it makes my rage BOIL! We're not hunters and gatherers anymore. We're extremely lucky have food readily available, thank goodness, and our bodies are changing naturally to reflect that. Sure, excercise is important, and no, we shouldn't let it get out of hand. But we're not sick because of the weight, dangit!
Ok, sorry for the ramble. Calming down now.
The other side of your story sounds very familiar to me too. Like, 3 years ago I had a weird mole removed, and the biopsy results came back with a suggested connective tissue disorder, so I went to see the Rheumy. At the time I wasn't having any symptoms, so he basically told me, "If you don't feel sick, don't worry about it." So I didn't, mostly. But then a little over a year ago everything started going downhill, so I went back to him. This time he listened to my symptoms and immediately started my treatment. I was ready for it though, cuz I had been feeling terrible, and researching the heck out of it.
You'll see, as you go through old posts, that most of us have to fight tooth and nail to get a diagnosis and the meds we need. Your story is unique in that you were blindsided by it. I can't imagine how that must feel, and I'm so sorry you're having to go through it. Especially since you're in baby-making mode, so you have all that life changing stuff to consider too.
If your Rheumy sees Lupus, or some other autoimmune thing happening, I have to second Dawn that Plaquenil is the first step. However, it sounds like you were pretty uncomfortable with him, so don't forget you can always get a second opinion. Having a nurse tell you the news over the phone was just, well. . . thoughtless and kinda cruel.
I'm sorry that my reply is kinda all over the place. (Brain fog mixed with indignation over the way you've been treated.) But I want to welcome you, and tell you I'm glad you found us. We'll always be in your corner.
please remember we are not doctors, so what we suggest is from our personal experiences only.
plaquenil is used as a first up medicine for many of the auto immune disorders.
it takes quite a while to fully take effect, so starting on it early is a safety precaution.
up to 4 or 6 months.
there is a saying that is used here...
"do not borrow trouble."
just remember that it is common to do lots of tests, and get lots of negative results.
disorders like lupus are diagnosed by ruling out lots of other possabilities.
there is no actual test that is a positive conclusion for lupus.
welcome to our family.